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The Thinkers

VIRGINIE POINTEAU ∙ JOANIE QUINN ∙ JESSICA ROWLAND ∙ JEANNETTE HART-MANN Great ideas may come from individuals, who spend time in isolated contemplation, but when we come together to reflect and converse, we participate in an essential part of the local food movement. As much as we need farmers and artisans and politicians, we need those who make a practice of exploring ideas with others. These women represent some of those thinking deeply and who are engaged in Socratic conversation about our food systems. In this section, each talks about her work as a way to provoke curiosity, questions, conversation, and learning.

San Juan Ranch, Photo by Drew Cole

A New Generation of Sustainable Ranchers By Virginie Pointeau, Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Program “As I look back at this past year, I feel I have grown tremendously both personally and professionally. I am not going to say it was all easy; most of it was incredibly difficult. But I find the adverse times create the best times, and I feel fortunate to have had this experience. There are times when I will be out working, whether it is fixing a fence, moving a herd of cows, or looking at a grass plant, and I am filled with an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction. I am so happy— relieved almost—to know this world of ranching is my world. I cannot imagine doing anything else.”—Amy Wright, Quivira Coalition New Agrarian Program Apprentice, 2011–2013.

Quivira Coalition is a nonprofit organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is dedicated to building resilience by fostering ecological, economic, and social health on Western working landscapes. We do this through education, innovation, collaboration, and progressive public and private land stewardship. As the director for Quivira’s New Agrarian Program (NAP), I partner with ranchers and farmers on sustainable agricultural operations throughout the Southwest to develop and implement in-depth, hands-on apprenticeships for new and aspiring agrarians. We target young people who have some experience in agriculture and, more importantly, who have demonstrated

commitment to a life and career at the intersection of sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship. This time of year I tend to spend some quality time in the local cafes, using the piles of applications I need to read as an excuse to indulge in a cappuccino or two. Yesterday, I read through applications for a twelvemonth, in-residence ranching apprenticeship on the San Juan Ranch, a small, one hundred percent grass-based cow-calf and finishing operation located in the vast expanse of the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Of the eleven applicants, five are women; and over half of the top applicants most likely to WWW.EDIBLESANTAFE.COM

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Edible Santa Fe - Spring 2014  
Edible Santa Fe - Spring 2014  

Women and Food - The spring issue is a showcase of amazing women working in food and agriculture, from those defining local food distributio...